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February 20 2004

Please Don't Bring Back Angel. One writer (who also writes some pretty excellent analyses of the episodes) pleads with the Powers That Are to leave Angel to cancellation.

Hmmm. I think Angel has not gotten worse over time. In some ways, I think the show is much better than it was in the beginnin. Thus another season or two doesn't necessarily mean a decline. How Buffy fared on UPN, not relevant. Angel isn't Buffy. As for comparing the death of the show with the death of particular characters, I'm thinking not such a great analogy. Angel the show isn't dead yet in any way. Most importantly, its creator doesn't think it's dead yet. That's not the same as Joyce, Doyle, Tara.

I don't want Angel to go out with a creative whimper. But as someone who's enjoying the hell out of season five (I see lots of new ideas) and who's seeing the myriad exciting possibilities that could open up for season six, I don't forsee Angel losing it that quickly. I could be wrong, but I sure would love for Angel to be given the chance.
Yeah, I definitely don't agree that Angel is already dead and should be left to rest. Nor do I agree with the comments on Firefly--how could we know if the fan base was really small if the network didn't even bother to allow for the opportunity?

I did find the paragraph about SMG kind of interesting though. Not that none of the actors are that talented nor that her tenure on BtVS was any kind of sacrifice (or however it was stated) but I did agree with some of it.
Must....resist...locating writer...and punching in face.
Don't agree with him at all. This season has not been spotty at best, I loved all 7 seasons of Buffy (ok, I just liked season 4), and this is possibly the best season in the Buffyverse so far.
I hate the idea most people have that when a show reaches a certain age, they have to start bashing it, even if the quality is still consistently high, "Buffy", "Friends", "Frasier", "The X-Files", "The Simpsons", ok they'd have a point with the last two (though "the simpsons" is back on form). The phrase "It's not as good as it used to be" annoyed me about Buffy, I know people who used to like it, who gave up on it after season 5 without watching a single episode of season 6, because according to them "a show in its sixth season couldn't keep good and fresh".
I believe that the 6th and future seasons of "Angel" (fingers crossed) will be the greatest. The potential is huge, Angel firmly focused at defeating the partners, closure on the "shanshu" story, the love triangle, things that need to be wrapped up before we finally wave farewell to Angel, but could not be done satisfactorally in the remaining 8 episodes.
I don't agree that Angel is dead. I think that Angel should have another season, to wrap everything up. To cut Angel off, only one year after they completely retooled the show, seems to rob fans of a sense of closure, I think. There needs to be another season to bring everything together and tie everything up as well as it can. If nothing else, this was what Buffy Season 7 did, no matter how much people have disliked the season. I honestly doubt that in the next eight episodes Angel will be able to wrap things up as tightly. From the setup from the following episodes, it already seems like there are a lot of threads opening up that ME intended to close someday. Angel still seems like it has the meat to go for two years, but even one year would close things up.

I do agree, though, that Angel hasn't quite been the "phenomenon" that Buffy was, but it's hardly the dinosaur that the author here says it was. It deserves to be given an ending, and to go out with a bang. And that's not something I believe will be found in cancellation.

Quickly, though. I did agree with some of the things the author said about SMG. She is very much a professional. Also, the author does present a very good point with the list of television shows.

[ edited by mchan on 2004-02-21 01:47 ]
Everybody has their own opinons, the only thing that bothers me about people who say I want a show to go out on a high note instead of carrying on to a new season where their is a possibility of down turn, is that some people still like it. If you don't like, stop watching, I've seen every episode of Angel, and I'm loving season 5. I want to continue onto season 6, if you feel that the show has taken a creative slide and it's not enjoyable for you anymore, then by all means don't continue. But there is still people out there who will continue watching, and let them enjoy the show.
Angel as a muppet? The time to "die with diginity" has past. I don't agree with everything the author said, but this season is huge step-down in quality, If it's more of this (and I believe it will be), I am almost of a mind to let it go.

Though my naive hope is still that theWB does miraculously renew it and they return it to its earlier quality.
I also think this season of Angel has been one of the best ones and that it should go on. I also thought Buffy season 6 and 7 were great too and I'm happy it didn't end with season five. The key thing is most people think this season has been great and we want more. I think it's silly to think that just because it might not be as good next year is a reason to get rid of it. Joss Whedon has said he still has a lot left to tell with Angel and I want that chance to see what he's got up his sleeve next!!
"Remember when Angel wanted to bring back Doyle in Parting Gifts? Remember when Dawn tried to bring back Joyce in Forever? Remember when Willow wanted to bring back Tara in Villains? The point got made time and time again that bringing back the dead is a bad idea."

Um...when in Buffy was it bad to save someone who wasn't dead yet? I think this situation is more like Buffy smothering Dawn in The Weight of the World. Angel...Not dead yet! But he will be if we don't do something about it.
I wouldn't say this season is Angel's finest. I do however, feel that a sixth season is essential to understanding this one. So much is going on, and while I can feel the threads coming together, I think Joss and co have somewhere greater to go. Angel is not finished yet, and viewing this season, as it is right now, as a complete work is a mistake. Angel deserves a sixth season-- its a great show, it deserves it's chance to go down as one of the best.
I think the author was trying to convey that AtS, and almost every other SF/Fantasy show of the last decade, was not able to generate the numbers it needed to survive. The general public is not interested in the genre right now, period. You only have to do a quick mental list of the reality shows this season to see that the Television Industry chases what sells, not what has quality. Sometimes the industry hits a home run,like "CSI",where a show is popular and high quality, too; but in general, the industry just grinds out sitcoms, soapers, police, doctor and lawyer shows like hamburger.

It ain't about quality - it's about advertising. If the numbers aren't there, the advertisers don't buy time. The networks aren't just in business to amuse you, they also exist to service the advertisers, and if the advertisers will pay X bucks for AtS but X+20% bucks for "Whatever", guess which show stays on the air? At this point, nothing short of a financial miracle can save AtS.

It's sad, but there you have it.
I disagree with most of this writer's statements, especially that Nobody on Buffy or Angel is a great actor or actress. Ok, what? I think they are all great actors, and some of them at times really shine, especially Alexis Densiof. He deserves his own show or movie. I think all of these actors could go on to prove the outstanding talents they have nurtured on the show.

That said, I want to express my opinion that Angel deserves more seasons because it's one of the best shows on television. If the creator isn't done with the stories then neither am I.

If there isn't enough interest in this type of show, lets then create more interest. I for one have been doing my part in trying to recruit new fans. Just the other day my brother, who's been borrowing my Buffy and Angel DVDs, told me he's getting really hooked on Angel (the irony of this is that he was the one who got me interested in Buffy in the first place). My brother was once a casual Buffy watcher but now thanks to me he is one more Angel fan out there.

[ edited by electricspacegirl on 2004-02-21 02:48 ]
SMG moved me to tears many times with her acting ability and James Marsters could say so much with just changing the expressions on his face. Every time Willow cried it broke my heart. I have never seen so much fine acting than I have on these two shows, correction, three shows if you include Firefly. Joss Whedon is a master at finding great actors for his shows. Just look at how much the character of Wesley has changed since his first appearance on Buffy to the Wesley he is today. That is fine acting all around!
Tony Head is a fabulous actor. Not 'showy' enough to be noticed, I guess. Too subtle for TV awards? I think Andy Hallett, who came in untrained as far as I know, is doing a great, great job. Very natural delivery on what you could call pretty cheesy lines sometimes. In fact, they're all quite natural in their roles. Marsters can be a bit of a ham at times, but it suits Spike. None of them stands out, they make a great ensemble - that's their forte!
Okaaay, where to start.

First off his argument that bringing CHARACTERS back from the dead being a bad idea is therefore a reason that a SHOW should end is.....flawed in it's logic. (Being nice, being nice)

Angel the show isn't dead. It wasn't written or planned to be the last season so story wise it ISN'T dead. 'nother flaw.

The comparison with other shows is nonsense as well. What do other shows have to do with this show? Happy Days' last season was crappy so therefore Angel will be crappy? Oookay....

(Also X-Files went bad because the main character(s) left the show. If Buffy had continued without Buffy, instead focussing on Kennedy, yeah, THAT would be the same thing. But Joss has never done that nor shown any sign that he would)

Also, many people feel that Buffy S6 and S7 were the 'lesser' seasons. Well, whatever. I'm still very happy they made them and enjoyed watching them enormously. Buffy with some flaws is still better than most tv shows. (And frankly there's not a season I don't have some issues with anyhoo). So if Angel S6 and S7 would be on the same level, I say bring them on. I'll devour them with fervor.

So all in all: Bullhonkey. (Except for the mystery why Charmed is still on. With him on that)

Also I ASSUME he meant they're not great actors in terms of being 'big'. Because as Blwessels just pointed out, the actors on Buffy and Angel are pretty damn good. One of the ME shows' strong point has always been brilliant casting.
(Buffy finding her mother on the couch. Willow on the phone hearing of Jenny's death. Spike as he hears the words 'beneath me' or when he hangs over the cross. Angel when he has to watch Darla be bitten by Drusilla. Well.....ok these are just moments that popped in my head. This list could be a mile long. Literally.)

Oh and last but not least: No I don't 'blame' Sarah for not doing a guest shot. Angel can stand on it's own feet. And it wouldn't have made a difference anyway. Yes typecasting is a real danger for actors. But please....if her movies are a success, then after 7 years of Buffy, one measily guest shot on Angel is not going to make a BIT of difference! That's just nonsense. And if her movies bomb, it doesn't matter either does it?
Obviously this guy never heard of shows like Seinfeld or dare I say it Law & Order (there I said it), both shows had extremely slow starts - it took Seinfeld 4 seasons to catch on and it took L&O almost 5 to find it's audience and excuse me but isn't L&O NBC's last powerhouse - no one constintantly racks up it's number especially in the 10pm timeslot Midweek - and it's been on for 14 years and over 300 episodes - and up until year 5 was getting revamped with character changes almost every year, cause it was on the bubble. So I just wonder what the heck this guy is talking about. So what if it is sci-fi, and he thinks it's a minority genre that is losing it's audience - has he not seen next years line-up most network have at least one fantasy based show in their stable and the WB has about 4-5 of them. Oh and excuse me but did you even see the highest selling DVD box sets are of this so-called "Limited" genre, not to mention the box office of the top 20 movies of all times - 95% are sci-fi fantasy genre. Sorry but this kind of talk gets my goat, sheep, and every other farm animal there is to be got.

You know why most sci-fi/fantasy shows fail after a few seasons - because they lacked the vision for the long haul - great concept little to no foresight for what would happen if it did catch on or else the creators insecurity about his own creation did the show in and he let the network have to much marketing imput - barring Firefly of course cause FOX just likes to mess with people's heads - they are Blue Sun.

Angel on the otherhand was not lacking vision, at least not like it had in the past it was finally getting the attention it deserved out from under Buffy's spin-off Shadow, and Joss's attention focusing on this long over looked gem in his arsenal - the untapped potential it had found this season boggles the mind at times. It hasn't been smooth sailing but it hasn't been that rough either, the show was just putting the finishing touches on it's nitche, then had the rugged pulled out from under it. Like a misplaced jenga piece causes the tower to sway until it topples the tower, so too is Angel now swaying in the wind only the fans are there to try to catch it and not allow it to topple into oblivion. And if that writer cannot see that he deserves the short-sightedness of his own vision. Since he only seems to see the tree and not the forest.
400lb_Goriila I agree with you, if people find that the show no longer appeals to them, then dont watch it.
Buffy and Angel have been great shows and as far as Im concerned there is no way that this great show can show its full potential in just 8 episodes.
Joss did it right with Buffy, it started out Sunnydale was created for the demons, Buffy and the gang destroyed it completely, so that is full circle. As for Angel, there is so much more Im sure Joss has going on in his head, to make this show finish just as good, if not greater than Buffy.

I have watched every single episode of both shows and I have to say that Joss has done an amazing job.
But that is my opinion which just goes to show, everyone is different and people with negative feedback on the show, are obviuosly watch it and should stop. Let us true Fans try and save something that we believe in.
WTF? I don't get what this person is saying at all. If I wasn't a nice person, and if I didn't believe that people should be allowed to have their own opinions, I would tell this person to go to hell.

Some opinions are, IMO, wrong. (Well, almost wrong.) Like the ones in this article.
I also have to seriously question the concept of the lack of enough regular viewers for quality shows to survive. I think it's problematic on a number of levels. There's a lot of well-documented analyses out there about media ownership determining content and I think this is a direct example. AtS may have a smaller fan base, though the industry readily acknowledges that systems of measurement are highly flawed, but it is obvious that among the broad spectrum of viewers who are regularly devoted, not a small number are professionals and people with advanced degree who *theoretically* have a much higher percentage of disposable income. In other words, higher ticketed items could be marketed to a chunk of the audience as opposed to industries that attempt to make profits off of mass sales.

It's certainly no secret that owners of the media generally have a web of financial ties to the same megacorporations that advertise with them. I think, therefore, that issues of the numbers not being there for the advertisers is bullshit. I think that US network television actively wants to promote reality tv not because it is what the audience is clamoring for because it is what they want to train the audience to clamor for. AtS may not be losing money but it surely has a fairly low profit margin, problematic for execs who are in the bracket of the top 5% of the population who earn as much as the bottom 95% put together, while reality tv surely has an enormous profit margin. To allow the audience to get used to expensive art such as a Whedon show might have the drawback of lowering the threshold of tolerance for other programming. In a society that already considers television to be a necessity rather than a luxury the way to increase profitability is to only offer very low-budget choices. The excess depends upon cultivating the low-brow.

The more disturbing elements to me are that the more profuse reality tv becomes the greater the implication that the lives we live outside of television are somehow *not* reality and further that we have so little say in what is available to us for entertainment. I think that it is not just that Joss Whedon's work is more expensive than some shows but I also think it really encourages people to think and create dialogue and my guess is that at the very least makes certain powerful people uncomfortable. In fact, I think the fact that it is a high-budget production gives them an easy excuse.

I also think that saving AtS is by no means the war but indeed just a battle. I would like to see this "movement" as it's being called raise the debate to a higher level rather than solely focusing on Angel. No doubt many will disagree and I anticipate much castigation but I really think regardless of what happens with AtS this will likely get worse unless we start doing something.

Sorry for the stream-of-conscious rant. I just started writing and ended up here. I guess I will go ahead and post because it seems a waste otherwise. If you made it all the way through you deserve a gold star!
Ok stakeholder tell us how you really feel. :)

BTW - made it through and agree with you 95% - had to deduct 5% for eye strain.

I've noticed a lot of people confuse novelty with quality. Just cause something isn't new doesn't mean it's not as good as it used to be. I see that kind of attitude often. Everyone's obsessed with the next big thing. It is quite possible for a show to still be a quality program even after it's third or, god forbid, even after its fifth season.
I'll take that star. You made some good points. The music industry is much the same in the way it wants not to FIND OUT what we like as much as TELL us what we should like. Really these days, if you're not an R&B crooner like Mariah or a perky blond with skimpy outfits like the Britneys, a chick with guitar or a Justin Timberlake, you generally don't have a chance. (There are exceptions, but generally this is the deal)

And it's all chewable bubblegum pop. You chew it along, the taste goes away and you spit it out. How many songs were made in the last few years that people will still be singing 20 years from now?? Few, I promise.

And TV the same thing. The Reality wave is handy for them because it's cheap (pretty much no actors, no writers) and pretty much devoid of creativity. So they've decided we SHOULD like it. More than ever the bottom line is JUST about money. Few networks want to make a good show with some care for the quality in itself.
This is an opinion, however wrong others may feel it is, that this person has. I don't see much use in getting too worked up over it.

FWIW, here's mine.

Something about putting Team Angel in W&H really does not sit well with me. Some weeks, I didn't even feel like finishing the episode. There have been high points to the season, and some strong performances in the group.

Should the show have been cancelled before they've had a chance to explore this new direction further? Of course not.

But network tv isn't about exploring ideas in writing or acting, it's about money, something the networks say they are lacking these days, so they tend to do things like look at the "numbers" and do whatever it takes to make the "numbers" look better to them and nobody else.

Angel is the only network show that I watch and after the last episode airs, there won't be another.
Well, I would agree with the writer if the decision to end Angel had been on the writers' and Joss's behalf and people were trying to get it back--that would be a dead show. However, a show axed nine episodes from the end of a season does not make it dead.

With shows like Roseanne, it seemed that the writers were tapped out of ideas well before the shows' contracts ended. The shows whose storylines became contrived seem to have done so because the writers were struggling to come up with things to write. This isn't the case with ME, as Joss has said, so I really fail to see the similarities.

I do, on the other hand, agree (in part) with his sentiments about SMG. I thought that if SMG were to guest on Angel, it definitely wouldn't be season five. She made it pretty clear that she wanted some time away from being Buffy Summers, and to ask her to reprise the role less than a year later seems unrealistic to me, given her desire to work on other things. I think that she would have done it given more distance between a guest role and the end of Buffy, but perhaps I'm too optimistic.

[ edited by weatherby on 2004-02-21 03:58 ]
I don't see it as a must, but as I said, after 7 years of Buffy and a year of other projects one little guest shot is really not going to do any damage to her career. I don't see what's so 'unrealistic' about that.

And I think the more time passes and the more distance, the smaller the chance that SMG would ever say yes. Unless her career's in the toilet.

And I think the W&H setting was just what was needed. The small agency set up had run its course. If they were still doing that in S5 I might see the tiredness creep in. This season has been great and may well be my favorite so far.
Well...I'm going against the crowd and saying I pretty much agree with everything the writer says. [ducks the fruit and various meats].

TheJoyofZeppo- how did you find this? Isn't this from the same guy who does the BuffyCritic/'Peripheral Visions' sites? That's what I assume, but I can't find this linked to from either of those sites yet.
ETA- Nevermind, I found it.

[ edited by forcorreo on 2004-02-21 06:42 ]
He's the guy that runs the Periperal Visions site, and Buffycritic often links to it for analysis.
I always assumed they were the same guy.
[*hoists fruit and various meats around to all the people whose logic is insane and happenstance*]
For what it is worth...A question was raised as to how much the production cost per episode for AtS is...Well, as a point of reference, production per episode for Buffy Season Five was $2,300,000...It is reported that AtS production budget is/was $2,000,000.

[ edited by Simpleba on 2004-02-21 12:41 ]
I think it's unrealistic because she made it so clear she wanted time away from Buffy. Nothing is going to change her saying that, and thinking she would have changed her mind in less than a year is unrealistic.

I don't think it would do any harm to her career, either, but if you say, "I don't want to do this for awhile", you're probably not going to do it in eight months.
How can anyone think Angel is not worth saving? You are nothing but ungrateful after all the work that Joss and the other writers have put into it! Besides Angel has serious potential! Spike is back for a start! In no way does Angel not deserve to continue!
Crys, I'm not sure whether your comments are directed at me or at the article writer, but they apply to me either way.
I am not ungrateful to Joss and everyone else at Mutant Enemy for all the work they've done. On the contrary, I am very thankful to them. I am sad that Angel is ending, but I also feel it is the right time for them. That is my opinion. I know a lot of people don't share it. I'm not asking anyone to feel the same way. Go on and hope for Angel to go on if you want. But please do not insult me by dismissing me as an enemy of the show for not feeling the same way.
I'll stick my neck out here too and say that, sad as it makes me, part of me also agrees with many of the writer's points. While I don't think another season would necessarily be disastrous, I do agree that this season has been spotty (as do many whedonesquers - go back and read the comments about the earlier episodes of the season and the relief people began to feel, whether at No. Cinco, Lineage or take your pick, that the show was finally getting 'back on track' - something was definitely 'off' there for a while). If Joss & Co. feel they can do another season and do it justice I wouldn't want be the one to pull the plug but, well, if as I said above another season wouldn't necessarily be the worst thing in the world, neither would letting it go out while they're still at the top of their game. Sad as the thought of no more WhedonTV makes me.

But hey, I signed the petition. (I did say only 'part of me agrees', right?) I'd really rather the makers got to be the ones to say when enough is enough. And while I appreciate that Mr. Levin acceded to Mr. Whedon's request that they be told early on in case of cancellation, I think that to say, "This isn't about the WB bailing out on one of its top shows" is patently ridiculous.

So I guess just color me torn.
Well, I will agree that the season started out slow but that isn't unusual with both Buffy and Angel. But in defense of Angel, Joss Whedon had to restructure the show to please the WB and it took a bit of time to set up the new storyline. But after a few episodes things have just been getting better and better and in my opinion and I really think most peoples opinions from what I've read this is turning out to be one of Angel's best seasons. Also, most of the articles written about the cancellation of Angel also say the same thing, that this season has been one of the best and the audience numbers have grown. That just doesn't seem like a show that's on the way out. It sounds like a show that is just starting to hit it's stride. I also strongly feel that Angel deserves some time in the lime light outside of BtVS shadow. Angel has always been good but it's always been referred to as the spinoff of Buffy. I was hoping it would have at least a couple of seasons standing by itself.

I do feel that Angel is an extension of Buffy but it's so brilliant it deserves to shine on it's own and this season it has been living up to that potential and it's just a shame to cancel it just as it is emerging from Buffy's shadow.
Forcorreo, you are completely entilted to have your own opinion. I just would like to know what makes you 'feel' its the right time for Angel to end. It should be the writers choice not yours, not mine and not anybody else's!
Yes, true Angel did get off to a rough start, but now its been back on track for a while. I also think its quite sad that there is so much more story potential left and all of a sudden it gets axed with 8 eps left, which is really unfair to Joss, the writer's, actors, FANS, etc... I think Angel could at least go another year...

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